Applying cognitive theory to statistics instruction

Lovett, M. C., & Greenhouse, J. B.
Carnegie Mellon University

This paper presents five principles of learning, derived from cognitive theory and supported by empirical results in cognitive psychology. To bridge the gap between theory and practice, each of these principles is transformed into a practical guideline and exemplified in a real teaching context. It is argued that this approach of putting cognitive theory into practice can offer several benefits to statistics education: a means for explaining and understanding why reform efforts work, a set of guidelines that can help instructors make well-informed design decisions when implementing these reforms, and a framework for generating new and effective instructional innovations.

The CAUSE Research Group is supported in part by a member initiative grant from the American Statistical Association’s Section on Statistics and Data Science Education